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Save Akamas, Cyprus

The historical struggle to Save Akamas Natura 2000 area in Cyprus from touristic projects and quarries continues with a range of judicial activism and protests and with a common message raised by various groups: "Hands off Akamas!"


This is an ongoing conflict for more than 30 years in the region of Akamas, the southwestern part of Cyprus. This is a highly important region for biodiversity and turtle nesting and has been declared a Natura 2000 area.  

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Save Akamas, Cyprus
Location of conflict:Akamas
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Urban development conflicts
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Military installations
Specific commodities:Land
Biological resources
Tourism services
Sand, gravel
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The demand for re-zoning Akamas and opening it up for construction and tourism facilities comes from developers, hotel associations, investment agencies, local mayors and village leaders but also from individuals who have inherited large parcels of land [11].

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Project area:23,000
Start of the conflict:01/01/1990
Company names or state enterprises:Phodiates Group
George Vassiliou Development Group
Relevant government actors:The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment;
The Ministry of Interior
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Cyprus Natural Coastline Initiative,
Limassol Initiative for Akamas,
Save Akamas/ Save Cyprus Initiative,
Federation of Environmental Organizations of Cyprus,
Ecological Movement Cyprus,
Birdlife Cyprus,
Friends of Akamas,
Friends of Earth Cyprus,
Utopia Collectiva,
Collective Seed Cyprus
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Participation in the carnival parades to raise awareness, organising concerts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (undecided)
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Proposal and development of alternatives:The movement demands the protection of the Akamas region and avoiding any construction. In 2015, a range of EJOs and the Save Akamas Initiative demanded that the entire Akamas Natural 2000 Area becomes a National Park with a petition in Avaaz signed by thousands of people and addressing the President of the Republic of Cyprus, the Council of Ministers and the Parliament [12].
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:It is a historical conflict, in which the protests and mobilisation have been very strong being able to bring different EJOs and social groups together.
However, the construction plans continue by powerful economic and political actors.
Sources & Materials

Protests against British troops' military activities in Akamas, CNA Cyprus News, 17.11.1997 [5]
[click to view]

Reclaim the Sea blog giving information on Akamas as well as other coastal grabbing issues in Cyprus [1]
[click to view]

Carnaval participation of Save Akamas Initiative, 09.03.2016, local newspaper City [7]
[click to view]

The Rape of Akamas, By Andreas C. Chrysafis, 26.07.2016, Greek Reporter webpage [4]
[click to view]

The Rape of Akamas (Andreas C. Chrysafis, 26.07.2016) [11]
[click to view]

Avaaz Campaign to declare Akamas Natura 2000 Area as a National Park (2015) [12]
[click to view]

Carnaval participation and performative protest of the Save Akamas Initiative in Nicosia, City local newspaper, 11.02.2018 [6]
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

'We Are Akamas', video by the Save Akamas Initiative [10]
[click to view]

Video showing the possible negative future of Akamas in case the construction is allowed and call for the petition to Save Akamas, Friends of the Akamas, 11.12.2015 [9]
[click to view]

Facebook event of Save Akamas related to the intervention in the carnival parade, 11 February 2018 [3]
[click to view]

Facebook page of the Save Akamas Initiative [2]
[click to view]

Intervention during the carnival in Aglantzia, Nicosia, against the destruction of Akamas protected area by developers (11 February 2018) [13]
[click to view]

‘Singing for Akamas’ event, organised by the ‘Cyprus Natural Coastline’ initiative, ‘Limassol Initiative for Akamas’ and ‘Save Akamas/ Save Cyprus’ on Sunday 27 March 2016 with a link to the song of Cypriot group Monsieur Domani [8]
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Save Akamas/Save Cyprus Initiative, Dr. Maria Hadjimichael & Irmak Ertör, ICTA, UAB
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:3327
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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